Their Finest Movie Review
Movies about the making of movies are usually a bore, because filmmakers think that the rest of us care more about the subject than we actually do (hint: we don’t. We really don’t). Their Finest largely bucks this tendency despite being about as dryly British as dry British dramas can be, though even it can't escape its own destiny in the end.
Their Finest stars the quintessentially British Gemma Arterton as a woman who is recruited by the war department during the air raids of a World War II to help write a propaganda movie that caters to females. Sam Claflin, best known as Finnick in The Hunger Games, plays her colleague and potential love interest.
Their Finest is a well made, well written drama that highlights a little known aspect of the war. In fact, the reason the movie avoids the fate of so many movies-about-movies is that it is just as much about the war as it is about making a film (and war movies, statistically speaking, are better than movies about filmmaking). Regardless, the movie thrives thanks to its lively characters, modestly feminist bent and a solid performance by Arterton (an actress who, for whatever reason, typically bugs the shit out of me).
Where Their Finest struggles is in the ending. At one point during the film, the characters are posed a problem: to also appeal to American audiences, they had to rewrite the ending to be more dramatic… and less British. The filmmakers should have paid attention to their own story, for the film sort of flounders toward the finish line, becoming the dry (and boring) British film it wasn't for the first two acts. It's a real shame, because the rest of the movie is pretty good.
Their Finest is a well made movies that presents a starkly different perspective on the battle of Dunkirk, but its inability to avoid certain British tendencies keeps it from its full potential. Still, recommended, even if it is more fine than finest.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.